The limits of the Scientific Revolution and the end of Technocracy…

Beyond Reductionism : The decline of a Modern Day Utopia

Science had become the new Religon[3].

God was Dead[4].

Reason was increasingly anchored in Aristotelian Formal & Symbolic Logical Deduction — an abstract form of Rationalism[5].

Truth in some cases could be reduced to a Statistical P-Value[6]— Classical, Binary & Deterministic.

A Materialist[7] reductionist view of Reality had emerged.

Simplicity where there was Complexity.

Discrete Parts where there was Relationships and Interdependencies[8].

It was turtles all the way down[9].

A Technocracy is an ideological system of governance in which decision-making is made by persons elected by the population or appointed on the basis of their expertise in a given area of responsibility, particularly with respect to scientific or technical knowledge[10].

A Techno Utopia[13].

A world where technologists and scientists ruled.

Where modernity was reliant on scientific culture[14] and genuine knowledge could be certain & absolute.

Where Society had become anchored in Scientific Management[15] and the Algorithmic Mind[16] took centre stage — Algorithmic Education , Algorithmic Risk Management, Algorithmic Computation, Algorithmic Investing, Algorithmic Economic Theories, Algorithmic Finance, Algorithmic Central Banking [16b], Algorithmic Biology, Algorithmic Food [17] including Algorithmic Milk [17b], Algorithmic Chemistry, Algorithmic Management, Algorithmic Advertising, Algorithmic Government[17c] and Algorithmic Politics[18].

Had the Algorithmic Mind and Algorithmic Management become the primary way of leading in a Technocracy?

But what if the Material World was Complex[19] & Uncertain[20]?

What if there were limits to knowing inherent in our Human Condition[21]?

What if Cause-Effect[22] is difficult to ascertain in Complexity?

What if our Ground Truths are dependent on the Axioms [23]— assumptions — and the Ground Motives — beliefs — that we make?

What if there were limits to the statistical & mathematical[24] quantification of our Mental & Material Worlds?

What if the Algorithms and Abstractions were leaky[25]?

Did context, agency and a lived experience — Material World[26] — matter?

What if this type of Science was anchored in our attempts to simplify complexity — complexity compression[27] — rather than in our navigation of Complexity — our Survival Instinct[28][29] — our Grandmothers Wisdom[28]?

Had the emergence of a Global Pandemic and the building Fat Tail[29b] risks in our Global Interconnected and Interdependent Financial System exposed the folly of this Technocracy?

A deep yearning — a desire for simplicity, certainty & knowing — a fake simple world — in a world of complexity and uncertainty — a complex real world.

Reality had become HyperNormalisation.

In a World where “all knowledge is interconnected” were there limits to Technocracies?

Scientific Axioms

The limits of every formal axiomatic system of modelling arithmetic.

The limits of Logic[41] exposed by Godel had now been extended to the core foundations of Science.


Can statistics, big data and more & more information remove the uncertainty and complexity of Reality?

Are these statistical relationships anchored in causation or correlation[44]?

How much of this quantitative data can express and make sense of the qualitative aspects of the Human Condition?

Is decision making or model estimation more important?

How closely does the model align with a hypothesis?

Should multiple models be used?

Cartesian Dualism & Science

“I think therefore I am” …

Statistics, computation and mathematical proofs being embraced to support models and hypothesis.

Hypothesis without Observation, Experiences & Predictions.

Observations, Experiences & Predictions without Hypothesis.

Materialism vs Idealism[47].

A Cartesian Dualism[33].

Is Science - a Two Body — a Two World[33][47] — Material World + Material World + Reflexivity [51]— approach to new Knowledge and new Questions?

Is doubt & uncertainty central to Science[50b]?

An eternal search for Truth.

Philosophy of Science

“At present, we are in the fourth phase, which started sometime during the last third of the twentieth century. In this phase, belief in the existence of scientific methods conceived of as strict rules of procedure has eroded. Historical and philosophical studies, especially by Thomas S. Kuhn and Paul K. Feyerabend, have made it highly plausible that scientific methods with the characteristics posited in the second and third phases simply do not exist and cannot exist. Scientific research situations, i.e., specific research problems in their specific historical contexts, are so immensely different from one another that it is utterly impossible to come up with some set of universally valid methodological rules to tackle them”…

For Science to evolve beyond the Fourth Phase of its evolution the author presents ideas outlined in his book around the systematic nature of the scientific process relative to other knowledge generating approaches.

Aristotle’s Theory of Causality

“The workings of our minds and bodies, and of all the animate or inanimate matter of which we have any detailed knowledge, are assumed to be controlled by the same set of fundamental laws, which except for under certain extreme conditions we feel we know pretty well .

…The main fallacy in this kind of thinking is that the reductionist hypothesis does not by any means imply a “constructionist” one: The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe.

…The behavior of large and complex aggregates of elementary particles, it turns out, is not to be understood in terms of a simple extrapolation of the properties of a few particles. Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors requires research, which I think is as fundamental in its nature as any other…

…At each stage entirely new laws, concepts, and generalizations are necessary, requiring inspiration and creativity to just as great a degree as in the previous one”

US Philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce – Pragmaticism and the nature of Knowledge

“The opinion which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate, is what we mean by the truth, and the object represented in this opinion is the real. That is the way I would explain reality”…[65]

Peirce also questions Descartes’ understanding of reasoning:

“Philosophy ought to imitate the successful sciences in its methods, so far as to…trust rather to the multitude and variety of its arguments than to the conclusiveness of any one. Its reasoning should not form a chain which is no stronger than its weakest link, but a cable whose fibres may be ever so slender, provided they are sufficiently numerous and intimately connected”…[66]

In contrast to Cartesians that began from a position of absolute certainty in reaching truth, the Pragmatists recognised the complexity and uncertainty of Reality.

How can we identify and eliminate errors?

A fallibilism in our search for truths by embracing self correcting approaches.

“Either much of our knowledge can be held only by a collective, not an individual, or individuals can “know” things they don’t really understand[69] “…

(He chose the second option)

It was a recognition that in such a world we simply do not have the time and skills to apply logic and data to everything we encounter in our day to day lives.

Did this represent a shift to Liquid Brains[70]?

A shift in the nature of Reason from the deductive abstraction of the Algorithmic Mind to the integrated Two World — Mental & Material — nature of the Semantic Mind[75].

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Innovation, Intrapreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Complexity, Leadership & Community Twitter: @complexityvoid